Norbert Niederkofler’s insider tips for Alta Badia
Winter is in front of us and Alta Badia is one of the best places for a wonderful winter holiday. Two-Michelin-starred chef Norbert Niederkofler is a vital member of the team at award-winning Hotel Rosa Alpina in the Italian Dolomites (which won the Hotel Spas: Europe, Asia Minor & the Russian Federation award at the Readers’ Spa Awards 2010) and runs its St Hubertus restaurant. These are his insider’s tips to the beautiful Alta Badia region in Italy:
Which destination do you know best?
The most beautiful destination in Alta Badia is San Cassiano – a small village with very little traffic, great for skiing in winter and hiking in the summer.
What’s the first piece of advice you’d give to anyone visiting?
To come up and forget about all the stress; sample the silence and the beauty of the Dolomites, and to live with nature.
If you only had one day in Alta Badia, where would you go to eat?
I’d have lunch at a rifugio like Scotoni Riufgio Col Alto in La Villa (00 39 0471 847330; www.scotoni.it). Dinner would be at the very traditional Restaurant Maso Runch (also in La Villa; 00 39 0471 83 97 96), or at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants: La Siriola at Hotel Ciasa Salares in San Cassanio (00 39 0471 849445; www.siriolagroup.it) has one star, while my own St Hubertus (00 39 0471 849 500;www.rosalpina.it) has two.
Of the famous tourist sites in the Dolomites, which would you try not to miss?
In winter, I’d go shopping in Cortina (28 km from San Cassiano) and then skiing in the Sella Ronda – Lagazoi and Marmolada are a must. In summer, there’s hiking the Dolomites: in the Fanes Natural Park, the Cinque Torri and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
What’s your best insider tip?
Just to enjoy the stay, and breathe great air, during both summer and winter.